There’s a line in a poem called “Mornings Like This” by Annie Dillard that goes: “Give me time enough in this place and I will surely make a beautiful thing.” There are times when I look out into the world and think: Yes. With raw materials like these, how can we not make beautiful things? If not art or music, then beautiful emotions or actions or words.

Our planet is amazing. For every rare and strange pollen, moss or algae, there is some creature — some perfectly rare and strange creature — that keeps life and limb together by eating that particular pollen, moss or algae. For every seeming disaster to one species, there is a payout to another. The exquisite timing and balance of every living thing makes the innards of a cuckoo clock look like child’s play.

And yet there are people who purport not to be able to see God or to believe in God. That’s like saying you can’t see the elephant sitting in your lap. What’s not to see, to sense, to glory in? God is so huge, so magnificent, God imbues everything from the highest mountain to those little cup-shaped flowers I saw growing wild on my way to the dentist this morning. How can someone not be dazzled by all of that?

We must be pretty spoiled, pretty inured to the gifts spilling out around us from every bush, creek and night sky to not see God’s abundance everywhere and always. How can we keep from making beautiful things? What holds us back? Shouldn’t we be shouting from the rooftops, dancing in the streets and just generally making a lovely, lovely ruckus?

I’ve been quiet on this blog lately, through no fault of God’s but because of my own festering insecurities. The world is chiming alleluia all around me, but I’m turned away, sunk in a funk that would surely be laughable to God’s greater creations. You ever see a squirrel in a bad mood? A bunny lost in ennui? Of course not. We humans have the distinct honor of being the only species that can mess up our own good time.

So what to do? It’s a bit hard to heal a wound you can’t see or touch. But if I can just get myself to look up…. The paint and clay of an entire wondrous world are at my fingertips. Maybe I can’t make something beautiful yet. But give me time.

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